Installation of 114 speakers took only about two-and-a-half weeks to three weeks, noted Skodack. He coordinated the project with Newaygo and the contractor, Nieboer Electric. The wires from the amplifiers run through underground conduits to speakers. The new sound system followed on the heels of a new lighting system and when it was installed, Nieboer Electric knew they’d install a sound system in phase two. Dual conduits for future wires for the sound system were installed 2.5 to 3 feet below the ground surface. From the conduits, the wires go up about 14 feet from where the conduit is located in the ground; 12 feet within the light pole above ground. These wire extend into every other light pole (about 40 feet apart) in three zones.
“Nearly 8,250 feet of wire were used to connect all of the speakers and other sound system components,” said Hummel. “The speakers are mounted 12 feet up the poles and positioned so they emit sound in opposite directions,” he added. Since the distance the sound signals must travel through the wires is great (over 1.5 miles), 70-volt technology was used. Despite the exceptionally long distances the wires run from the amplifiers to the speakers, the sound from the last speaker is just as sharp, clear and loud as the sound from the first speaker in the run. In addition, Bogen’s equipment allows for the playing of music and announcements at suitable levels throughout the system as needed with appropriate muting, fade in and fade out.
Scott Ware, Regional Manager, Bogen Communications, shares credit for the success of this installation. He went to Newaygo, worked with many people including the end user, contractor and distribution contractors and installers, and ensured they received the specific sound equipment needed. “My job is to ensure the customer receives exactly what they need, with all the flexibility they need and as soon as they need it,” said Ware. His strong background in audio system installation backed by a full complement of audio engineers at Bogen Headquarters enables customers to achieve lifelike sound at levels needed to overcome ambient noise and the challenges of the environment.
To meet such requirements and withstand weather extremes, Bogen designed the NEAR A-Series Loudspeakers with diecast aluminum frames and hard anodized aluminum cones. Proprietary Ferrofluid® seals the voice coil gap in these speakers to protect against moisture and corrosion. This design is part of the NEAR-patented Magnetic Liquid Suspension (MLS™) system that results in great sound and long trouble-free life in harsh weather. The Ferrofluid also heat sinks the voice coil to the magnet for greater power handling and long service life in weather extremes.
Also, powder-coating of the cabinet and mounting brackets, compounded rubber cone surrounds, high-temperature adhesives, and a UV-inhibited mineral-filled polypropylene enclosure contribute to weather resistance. Finally, perforated PVC plastic grilles help ensure a professional appearance and long trouble free life despite harsh outdoor use throughout the year. The A-Series speakers are nicknamed Armadillos because the grooves on the back of the cabinet resemble an armadillo. The grooves improve the cabinet’s stiffness and thus the sound; they’re not just on there for aesthetics.
The sound system includes a Bogen CD player (CDC3) and an AM/FM receiver (TP30D) for sound source input. While the installation of the speakers and wiring was straightforward for Hummel and his crew, the connections among the amplifiers, CD player, AM/FM Receiver and paging module was a challenge since this was a first-time task for them. By calling Bogen’s Technical Support Department for installers and getting help from DeYoung, the crew learned exactly how to connect all the components to meet the town’s needs.